General Motors has struck a deal with Lear Corporation for a supply deal that will provide the Detroit-based automaker with various components for the Ultium battery platform.
GM, like other automakers, is working to transition to electric vehicles, and it is utilizing its in-house Ultium battery platform. The battery architecture is extremely flexible and can be effective across several EV models, offering power, range, and performance that GM believes will make it the cream of the crop in the EV market. The Ultium battery is being used in the GMC HUMMER EV and will also be included in the Silverado EV and other future GM electric models.
GM will receive key electrification technologies for the Ulitum platform from Lear Corporation, a Michigan-based automotive technology company known for its work in e-systems.
Lear is set to provide three key components to GM, including:
- Battery Disconnect Units (BDU) – BDUs are the primary interface between the battery pack and the vehicle’s electrical system. Lear’s patent-holding and PACE Award-winning BDU has first-to-market thermal management innovations that enable vehicles to charge faster and drive farther.
- Intercell Connect Boards (ICB)– ICBs are the electrical and mechanical frames that hold together multiple individual battery cells to form an integrated battery module.
- Wire Harnesses – Wire harnesses provide electric voltage and distribute power safely and efficiently throughout the vehicle.
Lear President and CEO Ray Scott commented on the partnership:
“We are honored to have been selected to provide technologies to support GM’s vision for a zero-emissions future. Lear’s unique electrification engineering knowledge and molding and precision stamping capabilities, combined with our strategically located manufacturing facilities, perfectly positioned Lear to win this new business, which includes the largest award to date for our Connection Systems business. This award is a reflection of our focus on, and commitment to, using Lear’s full range of in-house capabilities to develop cutting-edge innovations to meet our customers’ needs.”
GM has been building EVs for over a decade, starting with the Chevrolet Volt in 2011. This vehicle is discontinued as GM stopped production in 2019. However, the Chevrolet Bolt has been produced since 2016 and has been a highly popular EV for several years. It faced some issues with battery malfunctions last year, which Chevrolet worked out with supplier LG Energy Solution. The fix left a hefty price tag for GM.
GM also recently signed a battery supply deal with LG Chem in late July for a long-term supply of cathode active material. It will be enough to build 5 million EVs, GM said.
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